T Nation

Three Day Split


I was designing a new program and wanted to do a three day split. So three days on and one off. I was wondering what combination you guys thought better:

day 1: chest/back
day 2: legs
day 3: arms/shoulders


day 1: chest/triceps
day 2: legs/shoulders
day 3: back/biceps

Should i go for option 1 or 2? or are they both equally as good/useless?


i think they could both be good provided the right set/rep schemes are presented. take a look at Chad Waterbury’s articles. he has some great articles on building strength as well as hypertrophy. also he focuses on compound exercises which are extremely effective

Thanks for the reply.

I normally only do Chad’s workouts, they are just the best. Recently though i tried GVT by Poliquin and found that i respond well to high volumes. Essentially what i want to do now is design a program that takes into account Chad’s teachings, using high frequency and compounds movements and merges it with the volumes found in GVT.

Hopefully i can blend them into a good mix and not burn myself out.

Id go with #2 or very much the same. Push/pull/legs split.


In my opinion, there are two main problems with both of those splits in general:

  1. not enough legs
  2. too much shoulders

Doing legs just once a week is, quite probably, not enough. Yes, you can kill yourself in that one weekly session, but it always seemed to me that too much time has passed since the last time I squatted and it felt like training and than undertraining before I train again :slight_smile: One possibility is to do deads on your back day, so that you get some medium quad work on that day.

Another issue is that practically all compound upper body movements involve shoudlers. Some even to great degree, even though they are not considered shoulder movements, like Rows. And, in split #2, your shoudlers essentially get hit 3x a week. Now, you may adapt to that and make progress, but I think it’s much more likely shoudlers will become a bottleneck of your upper body progress.

If you want to try higher volume, I think upper/lower split would work better. In fact, I don’t see anything wrong with ABBH - it has plenty of volume: 10x3-5 and 5x10 in the same week for all basic planes of movement. What more could a man want :)))

But, if you insist on using a 3-way split, then a good option can be to focus on main lifts: Squat - Bench - Deadlift, and fill the rest of the day with assistance for those lifts. Like this:

Monday (Squat)
Back Squat, Step-ups, Hypers or GHR, Abs
Wednesday (Bench)
Bench Press, Barbell Row, DB Incline, Triceps
Friday (Deadlift)
Deadlift, Push Presses snd/or Power Cleans, Pullups, Curls

Well actually using a legs/push/ pull you can easily get legs in twice a week, and load the core furtehr all week by performing as many movements standing as possible. Just use squats on leg day standing over head presses etc. on push day. A form of DL on pull day.